Friday, October 19, 2012

Firewood fraud makes seasonal return to Kijiji

Answered a Kijiji ad for firewood, only to have some unreasonable jerk show up at your house and demand cash up front, then dump what turns out to be an undersized load of chopped logs on your lawn? Really? Oh, sorry to hear that. You should have known better, though.

There's nothing new about these firewood scams on Kijiji. Take a look at some of the previous stories about it on this site alone:
You especially have no excuse if you're in the Halifax area, where it's so bad that Halifax Regional Police issue regular warnings about it. Here's an interview from today with Constable Pierre Bourdages on what you need to know.

Now, some advice from Halifax Police:
Over the years, the HRP/RCMP Integrated Financial Crime Unit has investigated several complaints where citizens ordered firewood but received less than what they had purchased. These cases typically involve sellers who post their numbers on the side of the road or advertise on an on-line advertisement site. These cases also often involve fraudulent receipts which adds to the difficulty in investigating these complaints.

To reduce the risk of becoming a victim of fraud, HRM Partners in Policing offer the following tips:

- Always use reputable companies. Contact the Better Business Bureau at 902-422-6581 or visit‑Business‑Reviews/ to verify the authenticity and reputation of companies.

- Ensure you are home for delivery.

- Verify with the delivery person that the information on the receipt is correct, including the company name, address and phone number, and write down the make, model and license plate number of the delivery vehicle. In the event a fraudulent receipt is issued, having this information will help the investigation.

Frauds and scams, whether it involves buying something on-line or hiring a company to do work for you, can often be prevented by taking precautions and doing some research. Never provide any personal information over the phone unless you have initiated the call or know with whom you are speaking. Remember, if a deal seems too good to be true, then it probably is.

If you think you have been the victim of a fraud, contact the HRP/RCMP Integrated Financial Crime Unit at 902-490-1985.

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